The Illustrious Beard: Why Do Kundalini Yogis Grow Beards?

Yogi Bhajan

This one is for all of the bros who are also yogis…Brogis!

Ah, the beard. That strange growth of hair from a man’s face. That thing that works as a handy crumb catcher and makes the drinking of milkshakes near impossible sans straw. What is this folliculous phenomenon? And what does Kundalini Yoga have to say about keeping it uncut? I will do my best to answer that.

Let’s avoid the yogic point of view for a minute and look at historical context. Across cultures and religions and spiritual practices, beards have been held in high regard. In ancient Egypt, queens would wear fake chin beards made of precious metals as a sign of nobility. Shaving did not even exist in the Roman empire until nearly five centuries into its existence. Generally, in many cultures, a beard was a symbol of masculinity and virility. There has even been some empirical evidence that suggests beard growth accelerates in anticipation of sexual activity! But that’s very difficult to substantiate.

Some yogis in India, namely sadhus, do not cut their hair. Philosophically, the sadhu is taking the position of renouncing worldly attachment. By growing their hair, they rebuke the concept of altering their physical appearance in accordance with fashions or rituals. The difference between the kundalini yogi and the sadhu is that the kundalini yogi lives in the world. The sadhu leaves it for the forest. In effect, we as kundalini yogis are accepting an even higher challenge.

So why would we keep our beards in this day and age? Why, aside from symbolic reasons and renunciation, would a beard be important? What is the yogic technology behind it?

The answer partly lies in the energetic difference between men and women. Women’s energy is represented in the waxing and waning of the moon as it corresponds to their menstrual cycle. This waxing and waning often corresponds to the natural waxing and waning of a woman’s moods and attitudes. Men relate to the energy of the sun. They do not have a menstrual cycle. Without the constant ebb and flow of hormonal change, men do not have the same changes in mood and attitude that women do have.

So where does the beard come in? The chin is a moon center that corresponds to emotional activity because of the location of the trigeminal nerve. The man’s beard is a buffer between his emotional self and the world around him. The woman doesn’t need that. She is fine with her emotional self interacting with the world around her. Guruka Singh gives a great explanation in this video.

So, my brogis, treat your chin hair well. Wear it with pride. Be a man among men. We are yogis. Let’s forget trends and fashions and stop relating to our egos and insecurities. Let’s just be! Why must we alter ourselves to fit some mold. Why do we chase youth? Embrace your wisdom. Let’s act and look our age!



  1. Shakti flows from and through the hair. The head hair is her antenna. THAT is that.

  2. Came across this page when I searched for the yogic relationship with growing a beard and how it affects subtle energies. I never grew a beard, but always found when I start to grow one I will become less sensitive to the energies around me, as soon as I shave I will become very clear headed and my sensitivity will return. But I am actually too sensitive and always have been, so will grow and see where it goes. I already found a certain masculinity and felt stronger around women, so in my experience there is something to this. Thanks.

  3. So, a man’s moon center is in his chin, because of the trigeminal nerve’s location. Does that mean that women do not have a trigeminal nerve located in the same place? That would be a seriously bad assumption to make.

    Not to mention, this seems to indicate that a man’s emotions and the outside world should not mix. This sounds to me like an awesome recipie for the production of sociopaths.

    I have a beard, and I am shaving it RIGHT NOW because of this page. I will let my emotions run free, and share in the world that is responsible for them.

    If you want to follow some silly religious practices that purport to cut you off from the only reality you will ever know, knock yourselves out.

    • No that is definitely not what it means. Women have a more developed emotional system, although they react more emotionally, they also process it faster than men. This is why you see many women like to cry for no reasons sometimes, whereas men tend to hold it and even suppress emotion in some cases.

      There are certain energetic meridians on the face which if exposed to pathogenic factors (such as wind, dampness, heat etc in terms of Traditional chinese medicine) can affect emotional and mental health. Since men are already more prone to this type of attack than women, its an added layer of protection from the environment.

      Forget religion for a second and think logically, after millions of years of evolution you cannot say there is no purpose for certain aspects of creation. Our body shape, organ function and social interaction are there for a reason. Similarly there is a reason why most men can naturally grow some type of beard – for some it may be needed, others not so much.

      • Hi,
        This sound to me like a very caricatural, simplistic, point of view about men emotions. Men and women have the SAME limbic system (who manages emotions). The only difference come from our social conditioning for dealing with these feelings. So, please, don’t use « psychological facts » for validate this kind of stereotyping point of view.

    • You see that’s to much emotion. Sometimes that clouds your head and you can’t make rational decision. Emotions aren’t bad but you can’t let them dictate your judgement just because you feel a certain way

  4. To answer your last question, yes. Check out “Man to Man”. Also, the woman’s manuals are great.

    Just meditate, eat well, and keep studying up.

  5. So many questions! OK, there is something cool about beards for sure, but I’m still not clear on the moon thing.

    Can a moon center be seen or measured?

    Women auras are 16 times stronger and more sensitive than mens? (Seems a bit unfair!) I mean, it’s true, women are awesome, but that is a lot. I’m guessing that is an average.

    So, the beard hair protects men from being weekend by subtle energy from women (from their breasts?) Is this energy involuntary, could they they learn to control it?

    Did you try the test with other dudes instead of just a women touching his feet? What about with men touching the womens feet? With/without beards? Could it be that being unexpectedly touched when you have your eyes closed effects concentration.

    If a man has a thin beard or is just growing his in (yours truly), should he wear a chuni over his moon center so he can stay stronger within himself? Where can I get a chuni, and what are they? Can I make my own? What kind of metal is used.

    Last question, what about his other moon centers, where are they and what precautions should be taken?

    OK, one more. Is there a book that covers this material?


  6. Thanks Ramdesh!

  7. I still don’t get it. The chin is not mentioned as a moon center. Is that just for men?

    Does beard hair somehow counter the effect of the moons gravitational pull on our trigeminal nerve? Is there some other force involved? Also, how does the trigeminal nerve effect emotions? Seems like this is pointing to women benefiting emotionally by wearing fake beards (made of real beard hair.) Would it be all the time, or at certain times?

    • If I might enter into the conversation, a woman does not have a moon center on her chin. Therefore wearing a fake beard would do absolutely nothing for her. She does have one going from breast to breast, which is why yogically it is recommended to cover this area with a chuni or dupatta ( a long scarf), thus protecting the area. That is just once example. A woman’s aura is 16 times stronger and more sensitive that a man’s. This is the yogic teaching. As it has been pointed out to me, Yogi Bhajan once did muscle testing on a man. He tested strong. He had him close his eyes and had a woman enter the room. His muscles weakened. He then had the man open his eyes and look at the woman, and his strength collapsed. The moon center is one of the areas that this energetic transfer occurs. If a man’s chin is uncovered, it makes it easier for their subtle energies to be affected by a woman. A beard helps to mitigate this impact and allows a man to remain stronger within himself. For me, once I got over the pre-conditioned cultural preference for clean shaven men, I realized exactly how beautiful it is when a man grows his beard. Energetically, there is a difference, from my experience. This does not mean that a man without a beard is weak or ineffectual. All it means is that the beard is a tool, and you may decide whether it is a tool you would like in your tool belt or not.

  8. I don’t know what a moon center is. What does it do? How was it located? If women grew beards would they be less moody? Seriously, what is a moon center?

    Is it OK if wear a beard because I’m a man and not a woman?



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